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A Well-Kept Secret: 5 Element Acupuncture, Part II
Supervising acupuncture interns at a TCM college, it has always struck me how funny it is to hear the clinic manager tell the patients that the Five Element clinic specializes in treating emotions, as if patients with physical pain have no emotions!
Help Update the LBP Practice Guideline
The Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters has announced the release of an updated Clinical Practice Guideline for Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain for stakeholder review and comment.
The Way We Are Designed: A Conversation with Gil Hedley, PhD
I was first introduced to the work of Gil Hedley by Tom DiFerdinando. He gifted me Gil's DVD series.
An Excerpt from TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics
This excerpt is reprinted with permission from Jamie Wu. TCM Case Studies: Pediatrics was released in 2014 by People's Medical Publishing House.
Low Back Pain: Posture and Movement Analysis
When performing static and dynamic movement analysis of the lumbopelvic hip area, begin with standing visual posture analysis of the pelvis, and then perform lumbar range of motion and assess what you might see during normal versus abnormal lumbar flexion motion.
Impacting Chiropractic's Future With Technology
When it comes to electronic health records (EHR), Robert Moberg and Dr. Steven Kraus are two of the leading industry experts on the topic.
There Really is No Room for Sexism
Recently, Matteo* (a transgender male) approached me during a break in an advanced shiatsu class in Berlin where he was one of two men in a group of 20 women. "Pamela. Don't forget to remind the translator to include male endings."
Expanding Access, Branch by Branch
The big news coming from Capitol Hill isn't merely the recent introduction of a pair of bills designed to expand chiropractic services in the Veterans Affairs and military health care systems; after all, similar legislation has made its way through Congress before, never reaching the Oval Office for presidential signature.
TCM Congress in Rothenburg is Largest in Western World
In the medieval town of Rothenburg, deep set within the Bavarian countryside in Southern Germany, the TCM Kongress Rothenburg each year draws around 1.200 participants from more than 40 different countries to attend the biggest TCM conference in the Western world.
Synergy Doesn't Happen in Silos: Acupuncture in Hospitals and Other Healthcare Settings
As acupuncture and traditional East Asian medicine continue to intersect and integrate with biomedical approaches, the conversation about integration expands and becomes richer.
The Dietary Supplement Research Dilemma
I do not care what the truth is, one way or another; I just want to know it. And when it comes to dietary supplements, the truth can be hard to find for a number of reasons.
A Reality Check – and a Chance to Educate
Imagine working in the public relations department of nutrition retailer General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) and reading the The New York Times announce...
The Need for a New Medical Model: A Challenge for Biopsychosocial and Ecopsychologica Medicine
Chinese medicine speaks of alignment between humans, heaven and earth. It is a complex view with a focus upon relationship. These are comprehensive ideas with no specific terms in contemporary medical practice.
Treating Beyond Pain
More often than not, when a patient presents to the office, it is for a pain complaint. Headache, neck pain, low back pain, sciatica, carpal tunnel... The pain is often the focus of the patient's mindset, and they don't often have any thought of what comes after the pain.
Primary Spine Care: Addressing Concerns & Criticisms
The Dec. 1, 2013 issue of Dynamic Chiropractic included an article describing the implementation of a training program for primary spine practitioners (PSP) within a metropolitan region and supported by a large BC/BS plan.
Converting More Patients to Your Practice
In 2013 and 2014, the theme was "the money is in the list." This meant that if you had a big email list, you were really making some "cha-ching." Unfortunately, having thousands of emails doesn't equate to thousands of dollars in profit.
Recreational Cannabis Use and TCM
Many people are drawn to cannabis for its effects physically, mentally and emotionally. Medically, cannabis has some legitimate uses, however the scope of this article is limited to the recreational use of cannabis.
B Vitamins Improve Memory, Prevent Brain Atrophy
The 2010 OPTIMA study showed that the accelerated rate of brain atrophy in elderly with mild cognitive impairment could be slowed via supplementation with homocysteine-lowering B vitamins, which included folic acid, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6.
Interpersonal Skills 101: Enhancing the Value of Our Patient Interactions
Recently, I read an interesting article in our local newspaper titled "The Value of Human Interaction." The article presented comments from a senior editor for Fortune magazine who discussed "Civility in the Business World."
Atypical Femoral Fractures and Bisphosphonate Use: What to Watch For
Bisphosphonates (BP) are popular drugs, with more than 8 billion in sales in 2008; however, profits have declined as patents began expiring. Nonetheless, BP remain the most commonly prescribed drugs for patients at risk of osteoporotic fractures, with several million prescriptions written every year.
Will You Be an Amplifer or a Mute?
These times are changing, and changing quickly. There have been many challenges to this profession throughout the past few years. The challenge is to talk, then talk and talk some more about this medicine.
January, 2009, Vol. 09, Issue 01
It's All in Your Mind
By Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB
Happy New Year! Hope you had, or are having, a most joyous season of holidays. I want to start this year off with a rather esoteric editorial on how we as massage therapists, being alternative providers, have the potential to change the entire focus of health care in America. This is pretty heavy, conceptual stuff. I hope you can be open to at least thinking about it.
It is dysfunctional, or at least non-serving thought patterns, mostly unconscious, that are the root of most people's problems and conditions. Healing the mind is the only lasting way of healing the body and bringing about lasting health and wellness.
Increased awareness is an important initial first step, and touch therapies like massage have the potential to play an essential role in developing self-awareness. As alternative providers, we should be providing alternative health knowledge (education) to everyone we touch. Leading by example, we can heal the world one heart-mind at a time. From the non-dualistic perspective, what you do for or to others, you are doing to and for yourself. Likewise, what you do to and for yourself, you are doing to and for others. Think about it. Health is a conscious choice. Health is not a right. To get it, we have to pursue it. No one can get it for us, and no one can give it to us. It is a conscious choice each one of us must make and then pursue with passion and dedication.
Are we as a profession interested in helping people achieve health, or are we interested in temporarily relieving symptoms, be they stress or more specific ones? If we are interested in helping people achieve health, we have to be their example. No one can lead where they have not been. If we are just interested in temporarily relieving symptoms, then we should focus on sickness like the allopaths do. Learn all about it. You will get what you focus on, so you will get lots of symptoms, probably in your body as well as in the patients you see. (Doctors die relatively young.)
This attitude requires very little personal responsibility from either the patient or the provider. Address the patient's symptom, be it stress or trigger points, and send them on their way. Hope they will call back regularly for more symptomatic relief. Then wonder why they disappear after a while, only to learn they are desperately seeking help from another provider who, sadly, will probably only treat their symptoms, just differently. So few choose the path of health because it is more difficult, but the rewards come back many times over the effort required in something called "quality of life" or "wellness." It also comes back as a booked-solid practice with people begging you to help them.
This presents the massage profession with a tough choice. We tend to look for the easy way out. I am often told to lighten up: "It's just a massage." I am told there is no need to spend more time learning about health; just learn to push some oil around and help people relax. Anyone can learn to do massage. It's no big deal, I am told. We sell ourselves so short sometimes.
As a profession, we need a change of focus from being in the massage business to being in the people and health business. We also have the opportunity to bring about a huge paradigm shift in health care if we will just step up to the plate. The problem with health care today is that its focus is on the professions. That is what all the turf wars and licensing battles are about. The professions win and the patients lose every time. The current system is about maximizing profit, not wellness, to the point that it is against the best interests of the system to allow wellness. It is time to turn the focus toward the patient, providing the best and most cost-effective care and wellness possible. Only the alternative disciplines can do this, and massage has the biggest chance of success.
Hippocrates wrote, "It is more important to know what kind of person the disease has than what kind of disease the person has." By putting the patient first. By treating the person, the whole person, and by focusing on wellness instead of sickness (symptoms), we can set a new standard of health care and the public will flock to us.
Get into the people and health business, put the patient first, and learn your stuff, especially how to assess and treat the patient with soft-tissue pain. Walk your talk. When you can get people out of pain, prevent injuries and inspire people to reach for high-level wellness, you will not have to participate in the economic downturn. You will have patients begging you to work on them, as do those of us who have already made this investment in ourselves. Join in while it is still allowed, for humanity's sake.
GM Food vs. Your Organs
In research conducted at the request of the Austrian Health Ministry, Professor Jurgen Zentek found that Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) corn (MON863) can have negative effects on animal reproductive systems, leading to sterility in three to four generations. Monsanto's own studies have shown organ damage, as have other studies since 1998. Of course, Monsanto denies the charges based on the fact that bureaucrats and politicians all over the world have approved the stuff as safe to eat. Both the Clinton and Bush administrations have approved GM foods, prevented foods from being labeled as GM and forced them on the rest of the world. This is not expected to stop anytime soon.
This is about massage, by the way. Sterility and organ damage will cause much stress and probably soft-tissue conditions (visceral-somatic reactions) that we will be seeing on our tables eventually. They continue to justify human suffering in the name of profit. If you care to learn more, see www.organicconsumers.org/articles/article_15588.cfm.
I'll be back in March. Bring your kites.
Click here for more information about Ralph Stephens, BS, LMT, NCTMB.
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